Mac mini = swiss army knife of computers?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rawdawg, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    I am thinking about doing something crazy, and I have no idea if this will work. But if it does it will be awesome and I will forever wonder why I haven't heard others doing this before.

    I could use a new router. I would prefer an Airport Express because it would be great to use it to stream my music to my stereo. But a time machine would be nice too. I'd like an AppleTV as well. But what I really need is an affordable way to speed up render times with FCP.

    Why can't I just buy a Mac Mini? Hook it up directly to the ethernet. Create a network. Plug my stereo and TV into it. And use QMaster with FCP to assign rendering tasks to it. With a big drive perhaps I can find a way to use TimeMachine to back everything up there as well. It could even be my server! Why can't I even use it as my main machine through screen sharing?!!

    If this sounds nutty, it may come to no surprise that I really am no pro, and it may be difficult to accomplish this if it's even possible.

    What do you think?
  2. Esulatell macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2009
    I'd classify it as Jack of all trades, master of **** all!
  3. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
  4. beaner454 macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2003
    I don't see a problem with this at all. In fact I'm surprised more people haven't brought up this idea.

    The only troublesome parts are I wouldn't necessarily think of using it as your main machine with Screen Sharing. It's a great service for doing admin stuff or for accessing your files when your too lazy to go where that machine is, but for everyday use-not so much.

    The other thing you lose here is AirTunes, while it's not that big of a deal you're not able to use a laptop the house to change music on the fly. Although you could use Screen Sharing here, an iPhone or iPod Touch with the Apple Remote App, or AirFoil ( to alleviate that issue.

    And the final difference is that you don't get the dual-router benefits of the Airport Extreme, where 802.11G/B devices will connect to a separate network thereby keeping your file sharing speeds at the 802.11n rates. Although you will probably be getting some sort of router to give yourself some extra ethernet ports, and you could always just get an inexpensive 802.11g Router with some ethernet ports to give yourself the dual-band effect. Have your "n" devices connect to the Mac Mini and your "B/G" devices connect to the cheap router.

    Other than these "quirks" it sounds like a great plan, and I just might consider it myself!
  5. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Can you ad-hoc connect multiple devices to the mini at once? That's the only bit I've never tried. Otherwise seems like a fine idea.
  6. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Router and Time Machine: Internet Sharing and setting up AFP, mounting it and time machine to it.

    Airport Express: While that is running in the background. Hook up your tv and stereo and run Boxee.

    FCP: Enable QMaster. Wireless might be too slow.

    Screen Sharing: VNC. I like Apple Remote Desktop being an IT guy.

    Seem to work for me in the dorms.
  7. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Interesting... Try it, its the only way to find out! :D

    Hope it works,

    Good Luck!

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